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What do Canadians Have Lurking Inside Their Mouths - and Why Does it Matter?


New survey reveals what’s hiding behind Canadians’ smiles - and why it could affect their overall health

Toronto, Canada - Bacteria are everywhere - from the keyboard to the kitchen sink to the crevices in our mouth. Yet a recent survey conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Inc., the makers of LISTERINE® Antiseptic found that while Canadians are concerned about the germs around them - on their hands (63 per cent), shopping cart handles (57 per cent) or doorknobs (53 per cent) - less than half (44 per cent) are troubled by the bacteria inside them - specifically what remains inside their mouth, even after brushing and flossing.

But these bacteria are no laughing matter. Many that hang around our gum line, between our teeth or under our tongue can cause gum disease which has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, among other systemic health issues. And while 97 per cent of Canadians say oral health is important, eight in 10 have experienced oral health issues over the past year - including bleeding while brushing or flossing.(1)

“Bleeding gums can be an indicator of gingivitis - a mild form of gum disease that’s really an immune response to bacteria that have stuck together and multiplied in the mouth, causing inflammation,” said Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of Office for Science and Society, Professor in Chemistry and Faculty of Medicine departments at McGill University. “When the gums are inflamed, everyday activities like chewing can allow bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream - allowing full access to the rest of the body, and possibly contributing to broader health issues.”

Most Canadians cannot identify the serious health conditions that are associated with poor oral health and gum disease. In fact, only 35 per cent of those surveyed believe that poor oral health may be linked to heart disease, 14 per cent to respiratory disease, and 11 per cent to diabetes. A further 30 per cent were unaware that some of these health problems may result from mouth bacteria entering the bloodstream.(1)

Brush, floss and rinse twice a day…to help keep the doctor away
When it comes to proper oral hygiene routines, most Canadians are not doing enough. In fact, most do not brush (35 per cent), floss (92 per cent) and rinse (88 per cent) twice a day, and more than half (58 per cent) believe that as long as they brush their teeth, they are taking care of their mouth.

“Proper oral care is imperative to a healthy mouth and body - in fact, gingivitis can occur in as little as seven days as a result of poor oral hygiene,” said Dr. Steven Weiner, Dentistry on Liverpool. “That’s why it’s critical to brush, floss and rinse everyday with an antiseptic mouthwash like LISTERINE®, the only mouthwash proven to reduce oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream from the mouth.”

Additional findings from the Leger Marketing survey on the state of Canadians’ oral health include:

* Four in 10 Canadians do not visit their dentist twice a year
* Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians believe they are doing a good job of keeping their mouths healthy, but know they can do more
* Oral health issues that Canadians have experienced over the past year include bleeding while brushing or flossing (47 percent), plaque build-up (39 per cent), mouth pain (25 per cent) and receding gums (20 per cent)
* Eight in 10 Canadians say they take care of their oral health because it is important to their overall health, yet nearly half (45 per cent) do not mention taking care of their oral health when asked what they do to take care of their overall health(1)

LISTERINE® Antiseptic is the only mouthwash that has been approved by Health Canada to significantly reduce oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream from the mouth. In fact, no other over-the-counter product has been proven to penetrate the plaque biofilm - the layer of bacteria that can collect on surfaces in the mouth - better than LISTERINE®.

Together with brushing, flossing and professional oral care, LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthwash may reduce the risk of developing gum disease and contribute to overall health.

To learn more about the link between oral health and systemic health, visit .

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online between February 14 and February 18, 2011 by Leger Marketing using a national random sample of 1,520 Canadians from an online web panel.

About LISTERINE® Mouthwash
Johnson & Johnson Inc. is a leader in the consumer oral care market with LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthwash. LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE® FOR SENSITIVE TEETH(TM )is a recipient of the 2011 Canadian Living Best New Products Award.

(1) Leger Marketing, Oral Health Survey, 2011.


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